New cabinet after Zanu congress

President Robert Mugabe is planning a cabinet reshuffle that would see some ministers dropped after the Zanu (PF) congress scheduled for December.


Reliable sources said the reshuffle could come in January. “Everything depends on what happens at congress as top positions are at stake and the composition of the next cabinet will depend on who lands those posts,” said a senior government official who declined to be named.

Zanu (PF) heavyweights are jostling to grab the posts of two party vice presidents and second secretaries, that of national chairman and several other senior positions that include leaders of the women’s and youth leagues.

The party has declared that all the top positions are open for contest, with at least five stalwarts likely to compete for the two vice presidencies. These include Joice Mujuru, currently Mugabe’s deputy, Simon Khaya Moyo, the national chair, Emmerson Mnangagwa, legal affairs secretary, Kembo Mohadi, the Home Affairs minister and Obert Mpofu, the transport minister.

“The president is unhappy with his cabinet mainly because it has been divided along factional lines and is failing to deliver according to his expectations. He is anxious to have a team that will make things work once again and guarantee him a legacy when he goes,” added the source.

In its campaign manifesto ahead of the 2013 general elections, Zanu (PF) promised to deliver more than two million jobs and turn around the ailing economy. But a year after the polls, unemployment is rising and the economy is inching towards a new crisis as the government is broke and failing to attract meaningful investment.

The names of “non-performing” individuals circulating in government circles include energy minister, Dzikamai Mavhaire, psychomotor minister, Josiah Hungwe, Webster Shamu, the ICT minister, and education minister Lazarus Dokora.

Gideon Gono, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) who might soon become a senator to replace the late Kumbirai Kangai from Manicaland, is highly likely to get the finance portfolio, courtesy of a spirited campaign by Mugabe’s wife, Grace.

Several deputy ministersare likely to be dropped, chief among them Fortune Chasi, who Grace recently accused of trying to push her out of her growing land empire in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central. Patrick Zhuwawo, Mugabe’s niece and former Science and Technology minister who sits in Zanu (PF)’s politburo, an elite decision making body, “will certainly bounce back as part of the Mugabe political family”. Jonathan Moyo, a party strategist, could also be removed from cabinet as Mugabe has publicly rapped him for dividing Zanu (PF) by interfering with editorial content as government-controlled media houses, added the source.

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